I started writing this in Dec 08′ last year and for some reason never got to completing it. Revisited today…..and decided to publish as it is.
This is the first time I have had an urge to pen down my thoughts in this blog. I had thought it would happen much more often but I always had to think of a topic to write about. Not realizing that its just about writing randomly about the things you feel. So, this time its spontaneous and I feel a little bit like a “writer” – all brimming with things in my head that I wanna write about ;-). And of course its what many people have written about – but here’s my version!!
I’ve been in Mumbai for almost a year and a half and I guess thats a long time to get to know a city, but there’s something about Mumbai that it continues to be ever evolving and ever surprising. Its like a flux of so many forces, so many sounds, smells and vibrations that one can only begin to discover something new each day. Its a city that exposes you to the most vibrant and diverse aspects of the many lives that reside here, that it fills me with so much wonder at the way it is just like a mini universe in itself. You can go deep into its blood stream and get absorbed like you are a part of it all, and yet you can come out thinking and re-assessing your own analogies for this city.
There are some very striking scenes that catch one’s eye in the day to day lives of he people here. Like every morning on my way to work I notice this old man with longish unkempt hair and shaggy clothes whose job it is to arrange the newspapers in the correct combo. The Times of India goes with the Mumbai Mirror inside and so on…..and he does his job perfectly – though I’m pretty sure he doesnt even have a clue what the papers say. Its like a reflex action for him……something so automatic, so mechanical.
Then when I get off the local train at Andheri and head out of the station using the overbridge – there’s this ancient looking man sitting in the same spot every morning and playing the most monotonous beat over and over again on his “daffli” urging people to drop a rupee or two in his steel dubba. This man is deprived of sight which is clear from his sunk – in eye sockets, He’s also very scrawny and thin. But the rigour with which he plays that “daffli” every morning with an open toothless mouth and a funny continous shaking of his head, like only he can appreciate and enjoy the music he plays – it just makes me wonder that there are so many facets to so many peoples’ lives that go so unnoticed inthe midst of unending waves of people rushing to work or someplace important – and I get inquisitive about the life that this old old man led. What he was like when he was younger, was he happy, did he get a full stomach of food everyday and what fate brought him to the spot where he now sits and earns his daily bread, and whether he earns enough to be able have daily bread also or not.
Many poeple come to this city with a preconcieved mind set that its dirty and over populated and it stinks – which by the way are all true but still i’m unable to relate my self to these aspects which do form an inherent part of this city. What I feel closer to though is the rythm or what many call the heart beat of the city. Ever beating and never failing to make one a part of its tandem. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what you do for a living, what you wear, how you look…….its ok. You have the liberty to conduct yourself as you please and just be comfortable in your environment.
Sure this attitude reflects even when things go really wrong, and maybe that sends the wrong signal to a lotta characters out there who are waiting for an opportunity to strike. Like the 26/11 terror attacks in South Bombay. What an unnecessary waste of life, resourses, heritage. But the city bounced back. Yes, I appreciate how quickly Mumbai gets back into groove but No, I do not always agree with it. It frustrates me to see how the masses just takes, suffers and moves on with whatever is thrwn their way. We talk about how the masses are helpless and can hardly influence the regulators or put enough pressure on them to get their act straight, but this incident is marked by the fact that most of the victims were part of the elite class of Mumbai and what rose as a major issue finally also fell pray to the news coverage agenda……as long as the news people didn’t make a big deal about it, there wasn’t a need to consider it a big deal either, ofcourse, that excludes the people who suffered the loss of their loved ones. But this discussion never gets me anywhere except building up a whole lotta frustration. So topic change – bol diya jo bolna tha!!
So to sum up, I love where i live, hoping to start loving what I do for a living and I know for a fact that this is the one and only place where I would be the happiest as long as my status remains “Solo” 🙂 !!